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Book Review < Back

The Mystery Play

Credits: Written by Grant Morrison and Illustrated by John J. Muth
Publisher: Vertigo (DC)


Townley produces the Mystery Play Cycle and the old bastard playing God is murdered before the end of the show. (Hello, Nietzsche!) Annie Woolf, of The Guardian, reports. Detective Sergeant Frank Carpenter investigates. He's a Carpenter and he's in Townley to investigate the murder of God.

Oh, come on now, you're a bright kid. No...? More clues, then: a crown of telephone cord, milk, a Catherine wheel, "the church is empty." Don't look at the details, put it together, see the whole. The newspaper is "The Guardian." Lucifer falls; Christ escapes. The solution to the crossword puzzle is nonsense. Come on, now! There's at least one clue in every panel. God is in the details.

Get it?

Morrison writes, Muth paints the whole thing in a wash of cigarette ash and rain water and Satan sits in the corner munching Oreos and laughing, laughing at you, for trying to solve the Mystery. The solution to the puzzle is nonsense, remember? You can't figure it out; it's unknowable.

Or, some of it is.

You can figure out the pieces. You can explicate and footnote and base your Master's thesis on every reference, every compositional clue, propose you know who did it and still not solve the Mystery.

It's like Twin Peaks, only smaller. And much, much bigger, too.

-- Kelly Sue DeConnick

Kelly Sue DeConnick relocated from Brooklyn, New York to Kansas City, MO, where she lives with her husband and artbomb.net colleague, Matt Fraction. Kelly Sue writes the English adaptations of several manga titles published by Tokyopop and Viz. She can be found on the web at kellysue.com.


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